Neil Lawson had an article up on the Guardian and Compass Online yesterday talking about single issue campaign organisations and their effect on mainstream politics. The gist of the article is that campaigners such as the Occupy Movement and UK Uncut have been effective at drawing media attention to issues such as corporate tax avoidance and political action has followed as a result
“But these are mostly single issues, and the multiple crises we face demand joined-up answers. The political parties we can't live with, we also can't live without. The urgent task at hand is to construct a politics that not only joins the concerns of all of us who seek a much more equal, sustainable and democratic world – a good society – but which finds a way of linking formal and informal politics…So the challenge to the parties is to democratise internally and practise pluralism externally. The challenge to the movements is to shift beyond single issues and join forces to tackle the root causes of markets that are too free or too powerful, and states that are too remote or too intrusive.”
Neil Lawson is the Director of pressure group Compass and as such has a strong affiliation with Labour and the Co-operative Movement. I happen to agree with him that the Labour Party must be in the vanguard of a new movement for democratic change; for it is only through the democratic system that we can achieve meaningful and permanent change.
Ernest Bevin said that ‘We must not confuse democracy with the maintenance of a particular form of economic or financial system…rather it is a condition which allows for change in the system itself.’
Change in the system itself is what we need. Lucy Ward’s recent single “For the Dead Man” serves as a poignant reminder of what is going wrong and what we can do to change it.
“Those who run our countries they will never see
Cause they’ve never had to make the choice to bite the hand that feeds
There are thousand of people who were left to fall between
The cracks in our culture that were torn apart by greed”
Lucy calls on the people to “Stand up and take to the streets, they can’t ignore us if we all choose to speak”. The phrasing of this is spot on; if we choose to speak then other voters and politicians will listen.
Apathy is the enemy of change. If we want a better life for ourselves and our children then we must stand up and be counted.
"someone asked me at my gig on monday why I wrote this song and why ‘dead men’; it was quite a big question and I think I could of rambled on about it for yonks (you know how I like to talk :p ). Well I have been thinking about it more since that question and thought that for this weeks post I would have a little muse about what inspired it, how I wrote it and how I feel about it now.
Why did I write it?
I wrote it out of desperation! I guess it was a reaction to what is going on in the world, catalysed by watching the marches, riots and revolutions unfold on my tv screen. I am a total pacifist, and a veggie one at that so please know that I would never condone any violence, but there was something about watching those who were making their voices heard (in a peaceful way) that just…i dunno…spoke to me.
Why dead men?
It started out as a reference to those who have marched before us, but as the song has developed I feel it has become more than that. I really think it refers to us all, ‘the dead men’ are those of us sticking our heads in the sand, ignorant to what is happening and our power to affect it. It’s apathy. It is also all those on the thin edge of the wedge who have been left deal with the true fall out of the cuts and reforms… while the rest of us (including myself) sit in our warm, paid up homes thinking about cutting down our broadband package.
The response that this song has had so far has been quite overwhelming with lots of you guys sharing it online, it has been knocked around ‘occupies’ all over the world since I recorded it, Mike Harding has shared it, it’s beginning to get airplay and today with Billy Bragg sharing it with his 90,000 + fans on facebook it really feels like something important is happening. It’s just great to know that there are people out there who feel the same.
please continue to share this should you feel so inclined.
Just for your info, this single is my first new release since my album last year. It is available on itunes and amazon as a download and if you would like a physical copy then they are only available from me, (just £3 + £1 for postage and packaging)…just drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you asap "